FRONTLINE's Peabody Award-winning documentary "The Lost Children of Rockdale County" deals with a controversial but important subject matter: affluent suburban teens struggling not only with a rare syphilis outbreak, but also loneliness, disaffection, sexual promiscuity, and substance abuse.
Although "Lost Children" begins with an enquiry into how and why the syphilis outbreak happened, the documentary becomes in the end a wider, deeper examination of the world of teenagers and their relationships with their parents and each other. In surprising frank interviews, a cross-section of Rockdale teens describe the new rules of dating and the sexual promiscuity that stems from a yearning to have friends and fit in. They also confess their desire for attention--and even discipline--from their parents, many of whom admit on camera to being too tired, too busy, or just plain scared to connect with their children. The result is a sensitive, honest--and at times shocking--portrait of the world in which America's teens are coming of age.
This lesson plan provides guidelines for taking a closer look at some of these issues presented in "Lost Children" and expressing viewpoints via a debate format. Students will:
This lesson plan explores the differences between good and bad attention and helps students develop strategies to focus on good attention-getting behaviors. Students will:
This lesson begins with a simulation of just how quickly an infectious disease can spread through a population, examines the spread of a sexually transmitted disease documented in "Lost Children," and ends with a survey of the role of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Students will:
STDs present a real threat to sexually-active individuals. This lesson plan explores a specific syphilis outbreak investigated in "Lost Children" and directs students to research the disease and create their own informational pamphlets. Students will:
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This guide is written by Victoria Babcock with input from the "The Lost Children of Rockdale County" teacher's guide advisory panel. Advisors include Lynne Whitt, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the National Center for Health Education; Becky Smith, executive director of the American Association of Health Education; Judy Terando, health and physical education teacher at LaSalle-Peru High School, Illinois; and Jessica Smith of FRONTLINE.
FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS Viewers. National corporate funding provided by EarthLink®.